Pathway USA Logo

 Navigate your future at South!

 

Welcome!

Pathway USA is a collaborative program between the University of South Alabama and select local community colleges.  We support a smooth transition for students transferring to South who have earned an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree from one of our participating schools.

Pathway USA students will work with a University of South Alabama Transfer Advisor who, along with their community college counselor, will help them develop a sound academic plan, find resources to support academic success and become familiar with South, all while still working toward their Associate Degree.


From the Pathway USA Coordinator

My name is Bob Charlebois.  I recently joined the First Year Advising Center at South as the Coordinator and Advisor for Pathway USA.  I came here from Appalachian State University in North Carolina where I ran a transfer student transition and support program and worked as an academic advisor.

As an undergrad, I was a transfer student but that was a long time ago…  Moving to Mobile and South Alabama has allowed me to relive that experience.  I’m the transfer student now!  In the past few weeks I have been lost on campus, baffled by terminology we didn’t use at my former school and I no longer know all the people across campus to go to for help.  Just about everyone assumes that I know way more about the university than I actually do.  It has been confusing and stressful but also exciting.  Most importantly, the experience has reminded me of the very real challenges transfer students face every semester and why a program like Pathway USA is so important!

I have built my career on supporting and advocating for transfer students and I will continue that work here at South.  I am committed to helping Pathway USA students find the information, assistance and support that they need to successfully transfer, then thrive at South after they do!

Happy to be a Jag!

Bob

 Participation in Pathway USA includes:

▼   Guaranteed Admission
With participation in Pathway USA, your admission to South is guaranteed provided you complete your Associate in Arts or Associate in Science Degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
▼   Smooth Transition to South

While you are completing your Associate Degree, your Pathway USA Advisor can help you:

  • Visit and tour South's campus
  • Meet with academic departments
  • Sit in on a class in your major
  • Find resources at South to support your academic success at Community College
  • Connect with the campus community and learn more about the campus culture
▼   Pathway USA ID card

With your Pathway USA ID, you can:

  • Visit and use resources at Marx LIbrary
  • Get tutoring and help from the Writing Center
  • Attend home Jaguar sporting events for free
  • Get special discounts at local restaurants
▼   Academic Support

As a Pathway USA participant, in addition to academic support resources on your community college campus, you also have access to support at South.  Contact the Pathway USA Coordinator for more information on using academic support resources.

  • JagSuccess - Tutoring in most subjects
  • USA Writing Center - Help on any type of writing task at any stage of the writing process
  • Marx Library - Help with research or just a quiet place to study
▼   Academic Advising

With Pathway USA, you will not only have a Community College Counselor, you will have a University of South Alabama Transfer Advisor.  Working together with you, your two advisors will help you craft a personalized plan to complete your Associate Degree, then go on to complete a Bachelor's Degree at South.  They will assist you in selecting the correct sequence of classes at community college to ensure that you are minimizing loss of credits upon transfer and maximizing preparation for your chosen major at South.  This ensures that you are always moving forward toward degree completion and not wasting time with unnecessary classes.

▼    Transfer Advisor

 In addition to supporting you in your course selection at community college, your Pathway USA Transfer Advisor will:

  • Provide you with regular program updates and ongoing communication
  • Help you figure out your personal recipe for academic success
  • Help you find academic support resources on your community college campus and at South
  • Monitor your progression toward degree completion
  • Help you navigate college outside the classroom (Financial Aid, course registration, transcripts, etc.)
  • Prepare you for your transition to South
  • Support you through the transfer process

Being prepared to transfer is all about being organized and knowledgeable.  Like with most things, having a well thought out plan, based on research, will help you be successful.  Between Pathway USA, your community college advisor and academic support resources on both campuses, all the assistance you need to create a great plan is out there!

 Pathway USA can help you with most of these steps!

▼   Be sure you are in the correct academic program
  • Transfer degrees offered at the community college level are the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science.
  • Consult with an advisor to be sure you are in the correct program to position you to transfer at the completion of your degree.
  • The Associate in Applied Science degree is not a transfer degree.
      • The AAS degree includes very few transferable General Education courses.  There is no guarantee that AAS courses will transfer to South.
▼   Research majors early
  • Visit career services at your community college campus.
  • Determine what you are good at and what you will enjoy in a career.
  • Find out what bachelor's degree requirements are for your preferred major.
      • Are there prerequisite courses and GPA requirements?
▼   Start off with and maintain a strong GPA
  • Familiarize yourself with the academic assistance offered on your campus and use it.
      • Tutoring
      • Writing Center
      • Disability services
▼    Take the correct courses

Don't waste time and money taking classes that will not help you toward your degree.  Don't lose credit for classes that either don't transfer or transfer but do not apply to your major.  The Pathway USA Advisor, along with your community college advisor, can help.

  • Check the STARS guides for your chosen major.
▼   Have a plan
An academic plan is a semester by semester list of classes that you will take.  It is based in large part on important course sequencing.  The plan might change many times, but having a solid plan to begin with is extremely helpful.  Talk to your community college advisor and the Pathway Advisor early to begin designing a plan.  This academic plan is yours and must meet your goals.  Play an active part in creating a plan that works for you.
▼   Get started in math and science courses ASAP
This is often unpopular with students but...  starting in math and science courses as soon as possible, especially if entering a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) field is a must.  These major courses build on the intro courses.  If you delay taking the intro courses, you will be delayed getting into the major courses.
▼   Get organized and stay organized
  • Start a file or notebook to keep all your transfer information in one place.
  • When you email or speak to anyone with questions, get their names and keep notes or the email.
▼   Understand your decisions
Consult with an advisor prior to making any academic decisions such as dropping a course, changing programs, etc., and inform the advisor and faculty immediately whenever a serious problem disrupts your ability to attend class or perform your best work.
▼   Get help when you need it

Familiarize yourself with the academic assistance offered through Pathway USA

  • JagPALS
  • Writing Center
  • Marx Library
▼   Visit and tour South 
The more familiar you are with campus, the more comfortable you will be.  Plan to come do a tour and meet with someone in your intended major area.
▼   Determine your timetable and plan ahead
  • When will you complete your AA or AS degree?
  • When do you plan to transfer?
  • When do you need to apply to South?
  • When do you need to apply for Financial Aid?
  • When do you need to apply for scholarships?
  • What other important deadlines are out there?

 

Academic advising is a critical part of your educational experience and academic success.

Everyone's college pathway is a little bit different.  What is right and works well for one student is rarely right and works for every student.  Your pathway is your own.  Success at South starts with the courses you take at community college.  Those courses will be based, in large part, on the major you plan to pursue at South.  While most community college courses will transfer to South, not every course will count toward every major.  Your Community College Counselor and Pathway Transfer Advisor are the people who can help you determine and navigate your particular academic pathway.  

 

What advising is:

  • An ongoing process.
  • A shared responsibility and collaborative relationship between you and your advisor.
  • The process of understanding your degree requirements and how all the courses fit together.
  • An opportunity to develop and enrich your educational plans in ways that are consistent with personal values, goals, and career plans.
  • A means to develop your academic decision making skills and independence.

 

What it is not:

  • A once-per-semester event.
  • Someone telling you what courses to take or what to do.
  • Replaceable with advice from friends.

 

As a Pathway USA participant, in addition to working with your Community College Counselor, you will meet with your Pathway Transfer Advisor at least twice per semester.  It is recommended to meet sometime in the early to middle part of the semester before registration for the following semester, then again later in the semester or early the following semester.  In addition to in-person appointment opportunities on your community college campus once per month, Pathway USA will be making use of technology to facilitate other "meeting" opportunities via telephone, online chat, Skype and others.

While not always popular, it is important start progressing through math and science courses as early as possible, especially if you plan to major in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field.

 As a Pathway USA participant, in addition to academic support resources on your community college campus, you also have access to support at South.  Contact the Pathway USA Coordinator for more information on using academic support resources.

  • JagSuccess - Tutoring in most subjects
  • USA Writing Center - Help on any type of writing task at any stage of the writing process
  • Marx Library - Help with research or just a quiet place to study
    • For Pathway USA students, library services can only be accessed from within the library.  There are no remote library access privileges.

When visiting campus for tutoring or to use the library before 4:30pm, please park in the Mitchell Center parking lot (no permit required) or visit Parking Services to obtain a temporary parking pass to park elsewhere.  Parking on campus after 4:30pm does not require a parking pass. You can also contact Pathway USA to obtain a temporary pass or for more information.  

 

This four point plan can almost guarantee you academic success.

(Click on each for more information)

▼   #1 - Go to class!

This means every class, every day, without exception. It doesn’t matter what the professor or the syllabus says about attendance, go anyway.  Every class you skip is money wasted.

Everyone gets sick from time to time.  If you have to miss class, email the professor to let him or her know.  Contact fellow students for notes and information about what was covered in class.  It is your responsibility to figure out and make up what you missed.

It is hard to be a successful student if school is low on your priority list.  Be sure to schedule classes around other more important obligations like family or work.  When adding other time commitments like personal business or social time build them around your school schedule.

▼   #2 - Turn all your work in on time!
Check the syllabus for all of your classes and be sure of all due dates.  Put these dates in a planner, electronic calendar or whatever works best for you.  Trying to keep all the due dates for four or five classes straight in your head is almost impossible.  Keeping all these dates organized will help you plan for study time, and work on projects or papers.  Don't needlessly lose points by turning work in after the due date!
▼   #3 - Get to know your professors!
It is important to sit close to the front, participate in class and get to know your professors.  Almost all professors have office hours.  Go visit them and ask questions.  They are happy to help you learn and do well in their class.
▼   #4 - Treat school like a full time job!

If you are taking 12 to 15 hours per semester that means you are spending 12 to 15 hours per week in class (see #1).  You should be spending at least two to three hours outside of class for every hour you are in class (some classes may need more). That adds up to 36 to 45 hours per week – that's a full time job and more!

 

And here are four bonus points that will help you even more!

▼   Check school email account daily (or more).
All school and course communication is going to come to your school email account. You might get some email that doesn't pertain to you but if you delete everything you will be missing messages about crucial deadlines and more. Learn to manage email to determine what is important and what is not.  Keep your personal email personal and your school email just for school purposes.  Check school email daily or more.
▼   Surround yourself with good people.
You are only as good as your worst friend. Do have friends who would always rather go to the beach, play video games, hang out or do anything rather than go to class or do homework?  Do you have friends who want to be successful in school and put off fun to go to the library, get tutoring, attend study groups and get all their school work done?  Those around you will either raise or lower your standards and work ethic.  Surround yourself with people who will make you work harder not avoid work.  It’s okay to be the weakest one in the study group; you will get the most out of it!
▼   Ask for help when you need it.
Only you know when you need help and what sort of help that is. There are resources all across campus that are designed to support you academically, physically and mentally toward being a successful and healthy student. College faculty, academic advisors and other staff members want to see you succeed.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
▼   College is a team activity.
There is nothing that says you have to do this all by yourself.  Assemble the support team that will help you and motivate you to do your best work.  That team could include instructors, tutors, advisors, coaches, family, friends and fellow students.  Study with friends, go to office hours, meet with your advisor, and get tutoring in difficult courses.

 

 


For more information about Pathway USA, contact your community college counselor or Admissions Office. You can also email pathwayusa@southalabama.edu.


Pathway USA
Academic Services Center
111 Jaguar Drive, Suite 1375
Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 341-4017

We are located in the Academic Services Center, right near the tennis courts on Old Shell Road. You can always safely park in the Mitchel Center parking lot without a parking pass.

 

University of South Alabama

Bob Charlebois
Transfer Coordinator

(251) 341-4017
rjcharlebois@southalabama.edu
 

Community College Contacts

   
image placeholder Dr. Victoria Perry
Academic Counselor
(251) 405-7088
vperry@bishop.edu
image placeholder James-David Williams 
Academic Counselor
(251) 580-2181
james.david.williams@faulknerstate.edu
image placeholder Sheri Stanford
Academic Counselor
228-497-7685
sheri.stanford@mgccc.edu

 


 Pathway USA participating Community Colleges:  

Bishop State Community College

Faulkner State Community College

 

 
 
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College